While planning to buy insurance, you have to think carefully about your families needs, their lifestyle, your current age, your budget, your gender, your current health, extraordinary and unforeseen expenses such as mortgage balloon payments, medical emergencies and the costs of sending your colour kids to college.
There is simply a lot to think about when assessing your insurance needs, and it’s often not easy to do so until you put it all down on paper. Buying any form of life insurance is a decision, which may affect you and your family for 30 years or more into the future and you certainly don’t want to just wing it. Below are several considerations to think about carefully when deciding upon the amount your family may need to live comfortably in the unfortunate situation where you may pass away.
Quite obviously, if you buy your term policy at age 25 and you are a healthy non-smoker, you’ll pay a lot less than if you are age 50 and have high blood pressure or other warning signs of congenital disease in the future.
Women simply live longer than men, so you may need to stretch the amount of insurance your spouse and her children, if any, are expected to need by an extra 10 or 15 years if the insurance is purchased to protect your wife.
Here is often where the rubber meets the road. Assessing realistically what type of lifestyle the surviving spouse will have in the future. Do you live in a palatial home, regularly take exotic ski vacations or, as is often the case, do you live an excellent lifestyle but only because both you and your spouse work? It’s not often easy to talk about how your lifestyle would change if one of you passed away but it’s a necessary factor in choosing life insurance.
Budget vs lifestyle
Buying term life insurance is akin to buying a new pair of shoes. One size, colour, and style of shoe do not fit all. Another consideration is budget vs lifestyle. Are your finances stretched so that even a modest insurance premium seems to be a pinch? Imagine then the upheaval your spouse would undergo if you vastly underinsured or even skipped your life insurance needs entirely?
Assessing your health or the health of your spouse can also become a “come to Jesus moment.” Do you or your spouse smoke or are heavy drinkers? Do breast cancer, prostate cancer or strokes and heart attacks run in your family genetics? Do you have any dangerous hobbies such as paragliding, skiing, or do one or both of you ride to work on a motorcycle? These are all critical elements to help self-assess the risk of dying earlier in your life.
Changing family needs
Another thing to assess is the changing needs of your family. Did you just give birth to a child or adopt. Did you recently purchase a home and want to be sure that the house is paid for in the unfortunate result of you are passing? Did it only recently occur to you that your son or daughter will attend university and modern colleges are much more expensive than you thought? There are dozens of conditions that cause one to go reexamine their life insurance needs, so even if you have life insurance, periodically look at it with fresh eyes to see if your insurance needs an update.
Is my work coverage enough?
Many people work for companies that offer life insurance at a competitive group rate. So they sign up for it at age 23 or 24 and that’s the first and last time they look at it. And while having insurance through work is great, it’s quite frequently no longer enough for a worker who has since gotten married, had children, and he or his spouse has undergone a worsening health situation. As mentioned before, be sure to reexamine and reevaluate any life insurance policy you have frequently.
Simple Dollar’s Life Insurance Tips
Besides affordability, savvy insurance shoppers would be wise to consult an independent insurance agency regarding the time of payout in case of the passing of your loved one as well as an honest assessment of their insurability. Some insurance companies can take two or three years to pay out rather than doing so immediately, and others make any health risks either completely restrictive, or they make the insurance so unaffordable it’s simply a losing proposition. If you have any type of health risks, you want an honest assessment by a reputable insurance company.